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30/09/2016

Parliament: No deal for a new EU-UK relationship before Brexit activation

UK & Europe

Parliament: No deal for a new EU-UK relationship before Brexit activation

Gianni Pittella [L] with Manfred Weber [R]

[European Parliament]

In an effort to protect EU’s integrity, European Parliament party leaders have urged David Cameron to fully respect the British citizens’ will and “immediately” activate Article 50 of the Treaty to start Britain’s EU withdrawal process.

In a draft resolution due to be voted on Tuesday (28 June), MEPs from the Parliament’s main political groups have called on the UK’s exit from the EU to be speeded up.

A fast-track process

Parliament leaders emphasised the need to “immediately” activate Article 50 of the EU Treaty, saying the will of British citizens should be fully respected.

“Negotiations under Article 50 TEU concerning the UK’s withdrawal from the EU must begin as soon as once the formal notification has been communicated,” the MEPs said, adding that this iwould prevent damaging uncertainty for everyone and protect the Union’s integrity.

The resolution is co-signed by Manfred Weber and Elmar Brok on behalf of the European People’s Party (EPP), Gianni Pittella and Roberto Gualtieri on behalf of the Socialists and Democrats (S&D), Guy Verhofstadt for the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (ALDE) and Rebecca Harms and Philippe Lamberts on behalf of the Greens/EFA.

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The MEPs also urged UK’s Prime Minister David Cameron to notify the outcome of the referendum to the upcoming European Council on 28-29 June and noted that the “Settlement agreement” agreed in February was now “null and void”.

“The British government plays with time. The Parliament wants to conclude the procedures as quickly as possible,” a source told EurActiv.com.

In an effort to put pressure to the British government to act rapidly, parliament’s party leaders also made clear that any new relationship between the UK and the EU “may not be agreed before the conclusion of the withdrawal agreement”.

The EU officials also underlined that the consent of the European Parliament was required under the Treaties and, thus, it should be fully involved at all stages of the various procedures concerning the withdrawal agreement and any future relationship.

Re-launching the EU project

The Parliament’s leaders noted that it was a “crucial moment” for the EU and therefore, the interests and expectations of EU citizens must be brought back to the centre of the debate.

“The European project must be re-launched now”, they said, urging for a reform with a Treaty revision that will make the EU “better and more democratic”.

“Whereas some may choose to integrate more slowly or to a lesser extent, the core of the EU must be reinforced and a la carte solutions should be avoided,” the letter reads, adding that the Economic and Monetary union should be democratized.

Meanwhile EU’s founding countries meeting on Saturday (25 June) said they want Britain to begin leaving the union “as soon as possible” to keep the bloc from being stranded in “limbo”.

All eyes on Berlin and Paris as EU leaders urge quick Brexit

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The Parliament also raised the issue of the rotating presidency of the Council of the European Union, which the UK is due to assume from 1 July 2017.

“The European Parliament calls on the Council to change the order of its Presidencies to prevent the process of withdrawal from jeopardizing the management of the day-to-day business of the Union.”

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